Central Avenue Resurrection: Building Boom Hits Birthplace of West Coast Jazz in South Los Angeles


While the country is in the middle of the worst economic depression since the Great one in the '30s, Central Avenue is having a resurgence.

This week the city opens up a $15 million City Hall annex that will double as a park and green space and in September a $27.5 million mixed-use grocery store and apartment building opened.
Next month a Fresh & Easy market will spring to life.

"We're on a roll. It's going to lift people's spirits -- and, hopefully, lift their property values," City Councilwoman Jan Perry told the LA Times's Scott Gold.

Central Avenue was once a vibrant thoroughfare and the genesis of West Coast Jazz, home to Club Alabam, the Elks Club and of course the Dunbar Hotel.

That ancestry is being celebrated at the Huntington Library's "Central Avenue and Beyond." The exhibit is just a sample of the late librarian Mayme Clayton's profound collection that will hopefully be a housed in it's own museum one day. The exhibit is at the Huntington until Feb. 8.

Gold says city officials want to turn their attention to nearby Dunbar Hotel, a low-income apartment building the city may refurbish. city is preparing to weigh proposals to refurbish it as affordable housing while preserving its character.


The city hall satellite office, where the Bombay Candle & Botanica warehouse once stood, is kind of an urban park with a rooftop garden open to the public.

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